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Cheltenham Ladies College

(71 Posts)
onebananatwobanana Thu 30-Jan-14 13:37:16

Can anyone with a DD at this school give me an up to date view? Would love to hear about going at 11 vs 13, academic pressure and quality of teaching, sport and extra curricular, how integrated the non UK based students are - and are there more non uk based students in the 6th form as there is an additional intake then, how is the pastoral care, how's the new head getting on? How does it compare to Wycombe Abbey, Downe House etc etc

Thank you.

Bowlersarm Fri 31-Jan-14 13:28:17

What an extraordinarily strange post Wholesome. (And are you really a teacher? Wot with no paragraphs n all)

I don't think it's entirely relevant to the OP either. She will either send her dd there or to a similar school, I would imagine. Your rant is hardly going to encourage the op to consider a total U-turn.

I know nothing about the school personally, OP, but good luck with your decision.

onebananatwobanana Fri 31-Jan-14 13:31:00

Thanks Bowlers!

Lioninthesun Fri 31-Jan-14 14:04:54

Wholesome no one was 'having a go' at your friend Soul I was merely pointing out that if they were happy to accept the hospitality of these people, to mock them behind their back was not very nice. I still stand by that.

Your reverse snobbery on the other hand, is even worse. This is not a thread to discuss your views on the class system, but to discuss education for parents who are interested in a specific school.

soul2000 Fri 31-Jan-14 14:42:41

Lion. I did not know calling someone a " Jolly Hockey sticks" type of person was a insult. I actually thought it was a term of endearment , to describe a nice old fashioned charming type of person.

I also said what lovely young ladies they were on that occasion, however I only pointed out how lucky you are, if you can get though life like that.

I am sure many Ex C.L.C girls have managed to get though life that way. Good Luck to them for never witnessing or being exposed to the harsh realities of life.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 31-Jan-14 14:56:43

Soul I strongly suspect the CLC girls I know have been exposed to a good deal more of the harsh realities of life than you have, having lived in China through the SARs crisis, the tsunami etc., and been involved in a considerable charitable effort to provide help to those badly affected (indeed one had to run for her life when the Tsunami hit Malaysia). They are extremely well travelled and not to 5* resorts. Their schools are in partnership with a number of charities so they have visited the under resourced orphanages that help care for unwanted girls, the school run in the ruins of a shopping centre for the children of Nepali families etc.
I don't doubt that there are jolly hockey sticks type girls at CLC as there are the sporty, the geeky and the narrow minded etc. at all schools

All these stereotypes are fine for indulging your prejudices but they don't reflect the diversity of real life.

Shootingatpigeons Fri 31-Jan-14 14:57:26

And they don't help OP

summerends Fri 31-Jan-14 15:38:40

onebanana I would think the teaching is inspiring in a lot of cases. However I don't know how much effort and time is directed to developing curiosity and reasoning outside the prescribed exam syllabus. Sometimes that can be eclipsed by the effort put in to getting near perfect marks in past papers to nail those top grades.
I would be interested if anybody else thinks that extra dimension is provided by Wycombe Abbey or any other school for girls.

Xpatmama88 Fri 31-Jan-14 16:25:02

My info may be a bit outdated. Funny enough CLC, Wycombe, and Downe House were the schools we checked out for our DD, my husband was offered a posting in Asia and DD was in one of those superselective day school then, and after a long and interesting discussion with her Headteacher about choosing the right boarding school for her. We decided to go for Wycombe Abbey mainly for the academic reason. We already missed the 11+ entrance, instead of doing 13+, we opted for 12+. We had to fly back to take the entrance exam, which was a whole day of interaction, and examinations for her. And we never look back at our choice, she gained excellent results, she is now in her 5th year medical school, and gained a 1st in her BSc, she has a great friendship group from school with many capable girls achieving their potentials. I think we are fortunate that she really enjoyed her time in the boarding school and the academic challenge that set upon her.
Being honest, it is very tough on the child to be so far away from home and family, and the support of teachers and staff in the boarding school is vital. So choosing the right school is important, and every child is different and I think you need to go and visit and find out whether the school is right for your child. I think in comparison, CLC has the most Asian overseas girls so it would appeal to some families.

Lioninthesun Fri 31-Jan-14 18:29:39

Soul when you assume that everyone is under one label, you make an ass out of u and me.
I know plenty of people who are in private schools for many different reasons, scholarships included, from all walks of life. It appears that it is the children in State schools who are ignorant of 'all' walks of life, as your opinions and reverse snobbery seems to be allowed to be touted about freely. If anyone were to go on about people being 'oiks' or indeed 'chippy' as another poster said, well - your friend rushed in to your defence!

Anyway - this isn't about views on private schooling. Some people from all schools will be naive. Not all people see that as a huge problem, less so when you have high grades and can go on to a good profession.

soul2000 Fri 31-Jan-14 19:29:35

First of all although I agree with much of Wholesome's Post I have never seen her before on this site.

As to whether I am ignorant of all walks of life , I can assure you that I am not, most if not all of my friends went to either Public/Private or Grammar Schools. I was someone who was educated so poorly in a supposed middle class Comprehensive , that I was left 3 years behind when my parents finally put me in to a last ditch "private School" . I am aware that Private Schools cater for every type of student and people from different walks of life.

But enough of my life story, back to the point. For most Children or pupils in this country , "Grammar School Girls" are "Jolly Hockey Sticks", totally sheltered from the realities of everyday life in a inner city Comprehensive School. The point is with schools of the ilk of C.L.C/ Downe/ Wycombe Eton E.T.C you really are creating a very small social elite of people ( who are Ignorant of the realities of life) The projects undertaken in India ETC that Public Schools undertake to make themselves "Feel Good" are all well and good, but do nothing for the many hundreds of thousands of struggling families or children in the U.K. You only have to look on the Teenagers section of this site to see how two families are being "Fucked" over by cost cutting Social Services ( Not their fault they don't have any money) to see that real life is a millon times different from the bubble all "Public School kids live in" Its not their fault , its what their are taught to believe by the schools they attend.

As for why people get angry when the term "Chav" or Oik is used , but not the term Toff or Tim nice but dim is down to one simple fact. The Toffs or Tim are able to defend themselves the Chavs or Oiks are not.

Although for "Political" reasons, many "Enlightened" public school Boys/Girls might not use the term Chav Or Oik , they still think that way in truth.

Lioninthesun Fri 31-Jan-14 19:50:16

I see no point in continuing this - OP didn't want your views on the social injustices of private schools or speculations on how people in them view the world or your apparently omnipotent ideas on how all 'social elites' think. I suggest we let this drop as this is not what the thread is about.

summerends Fri 31-Jan-14 19:59:01

soul everybody lives in a bubble of sorts, some have the advantage of economic security but lack a happy family life, others lack both. We in the UK live in a bubble compared to other parts of the world. You can't blame schools for inequality of life, especially as most of them try to teach social responsibility and good manners.

Bowlersarm Fri 31-Jan-14 20:02:33

Why are you continuing with your tirade Soul?

The OP isn't interested in your private v state schools debate.

Truly puzzling.

Why don't you start your own thread about it, instead of hijacking the ops?

soul2000 Fri 31-Jan-14 20:20:38

Ok Bowlers Arm... I am not hijacking any thread,I am defending myself.

I made a bit of a "Joke" about integration , and all "Hell" breaks loose.

I can see now why all the public school lot wanted the abolishment of Grammar Schools , they wanted any form of competition ( Though Little) Extinguished.

Lioninthesun Fri 31-Jan-14 20:24:19

Soul - I went to both Private and State schools and am hopeful DD will go to a Grammar. Am I not elite all of a sudden? I don't seem to fit into your square peg hole.
How do you know what we are all thinking, it's awfully spooky! hmm

MumT2 Fri 31-Jan-14 22:11:03

How many applicants in WA vs CLC? How many are eventually taken on?

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 10:50:52

Mum I am not sure it works like that. Entry to these schools is not as competitive as it is for some day schools. They are not going to have 5 UK applicants for every place. If you reach the required standard in the CE or own exam in CLCs case, which as highlighted below does not seem to be that demanding, and show you have the aptitude for boarding at interview they will take you. I strongly suspect that both WA and CLC ( possibly not Downe as it is very British) could fill their schools several times over with better qualified overseas students because they are the destination school overseas but they are obviously wanting to achieve a suitable mix.

summerends I was the guardian to the DDs of friends who are teachers themselves who were looking for a school that would educate their children in the widest sense as opposed to teach to the exam. They all chose CLC because they regarded it as the most open minded school with sound educational strategies. I actually do not know of a selective school that features in the upper parts of the tables that do not make a point of the fact that they teach beyond the exam. Indeed most restrict the number of GCSEs to the bare minimum required for uni entry, for precisely that reason. It is much more common for state schools to be pushing able pupils to take more exams than are necessary.

Soul I suggest you take the beam out of your own eye before criticising the mote in anyone else's. Your posts betray an astonishing level of narrow mindedness to my reading and the fact that you could endorse wholesomes obnoxiously sexist and patronising post says it all really. There is a big world out there, I suggest you go out and learn about it, instead of sitting at your desk trotting out all these stereotypes and prejudices. Why don't you come and help with the mentoring charity I am involved with, if you could qualify as a role model for a clever pupil in an inner city school who needs someone who can widen their horizons, give them the knowledge and insight to enable them to set themselves ambitious goals and help motivate them to achieve them?

Heliconia Sat 01-Feb-14 11:32:30

I have children who are currently at this school and who have left. Shootingatpigeons information is entirely accurate in my experience and matches my own exactly. There is some misinformation on this thread though.

There are some traditional boarding families but the changing economic environment means that the mix is not predominantly 'jolly hockey sticks' many families are first time buyers and a significant number are British expats whose fees are supported by employers or governments, or who earn high salaries overseas.

I believe that 20% are international students. For parents very concerned about that, it might be worth checking the make up of our most selective universities and places of work to see the mix of nationalities your children will be working with later in life.

Several of my daughters' best friends are of other nationalities. Efforts are made to keep houses similar in make up so choice of house is not important, unless your child doesn't like her housemates, but you won't know that until they get there anyway. Sometimes Girls of other nationalities like to spend together and in older years cook their own local food for example, but they are fully integrated. I think anyone who has expat experience will identify with the need sometimes to be with your own countrymen. These girls are usually intending to go to uk or us universities anyway and have remained firm friends with my older daughters after leaving school.

It is a larger school than most so although it is similar to Wycombe in terms of numbers of academic pupils, it has a lot more pupils and so is less selective at the bottom, hence the proportion of girls attending Oxbridge/Ivy league is smaller, even though the actual numbers may be similar.

All round development is excellent and the current head is especially keen on this. There is a vast selection of activities for the academically inclined and for those who have different talents - too many to take part in everything you might like. There are also activities at different levels so that you can enjoy an activity for fun even if you are not particularly good at it.

Heliconia Sat 01-Feb-14 11:41:08

It doesn't really have a campus as such by the way. It is a school spread about the town so girls have to walk to the playing fields and to houses for dinner along the streets. This is quite different to a school set in 50 acres, 5 miles from town.

They also share some activities/lectures etc with other secondary schools in the area from both sectors and there is a large and thriving community links programme.

morry1000 Sat 01-Feb-14 11:56:29

It is only down to DDs Cheltenham Ladies College Educated English teacher who was prepared to stand up for DD , that DD is still in School.

She is the most normal person and gives so much to her pupils going far beyond the other teachers there.

The other teachers convinced themselves that DD was unteachable and only capable of E Grades "Em** was having none of it, and now thanks to her going against the "Advice" of the Deputy Head managed to get DD readmitted to yr 11, because of Em, DD is now working at A* standard.

If the school are producing people like her , the school is a credit in developing woman who can contribute to society.

I had to comment, because I often agree with Soul , but I think on this one she has allowed her own hang ups from her education to cloud her judgement .

soul2000 Sat 01-Feb-14 12:19:13

shooting. I said I agreed with a lot of what Wholesome said, I did not say I agreed with her views about being exploited by boys. I have also said the girls I have met were lovely people .

Regarding Volunteering ,I would love to Volunteer , alas though I don't know if someone with Grade Es and Ds at Gcse and a City and Guilds In Travel And Tourism, studying Level 1 Open University Social Science can offer anything.

Although I used to have a successful Pub and Bar business before changes in licensing law and high borrowings brought it to a end.

Morry. You are right I am bitter with the education I received , and sometimes I can say chippy things for a bit of a joke.

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 13:14:50

I wish you all the best with your studies which hopefully will help you appreciate that stereotypes, especially when peddled by the media, are very dangerous and very often not rooted in reality. First priority in the learning experience at my university is to dump stereotypes at the door and to encourage the students to see issues from different perspectives. It is also to spot any sort of "ism" which is why I will not read beyond wholesome's offensive language. I strongly suspect wholesome is a man anyway, from the rhetoric.

I'll quite happily admit that I had the obvious preconceptions about Boarding Schools and CLC in particular when I toured them with expat and overseas parents looking for a school for their DDs who were not happy in the schools overseas and for whom Boarding School was the only option short of coming back to an uncertain future in the UK. They were all first time buyers and also, like me, wouldn't have hesitated to send their children to an outstanding state comprehensive given the chance. These schools are expensive, we couldn't afford to send our DDs there, so of course all the parents are affluent and amongst them are some who seem to come from another planet, and doubtless they will raise their DDs to be the same. However at CLC I was surprised at how down to earth it was, how much it reminded me of my own state grammar school, or my DDs indie. It is simply a good school, and I would be confidant it would teach my daughters to think for themselves, have curiosity and reasoning skills and equip them to succeed in the wider world and in whatever career they choose. My friends down to earth DDs have not in any way struggled to fit in or find like minded friends, nor have they in any way struggled to adapt at uni or in the wider world. They can wash up as well!!!!

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 13:25:04

I probably have some sympathy for your viewpoint by the way, it is just I think we should focus on giving everyone the chances a girl at CLC would get. I don't actually think they are that different to the chances an outstanding comp would give, in terms of academic achievement, we just need to make sure all our state schools can achieve that aim.

However putting a school like CLC up as a straw man to be knocked down is utterly irrelevant to that vision. As long as parents have a choice they will decide on schools like CLC and I think we help OP by giving her accurate feedback not peddling our prejudices .

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sat 01-Feb-14 13:25:40

Does anyone remember a documentary a few years ago about new first years at CLC? It was 2008 I think, and I was interested as dd was the same age.

Two of them were very sweet: I wonder how it all went? All you people who know the school might have been aware of the programme at the time?

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 13:42:26

Yes I watched it, it didn't quite chime with the experience my Friend's DDs were having, obviously these things get cut to an agenda / for entertainment value. I have no idea what became of them. They were Year 7s weren't they? So if it was 2008, sounds about right, they will be sixth formers?

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